And the guttering red rock
sliced like decks of cards
slanted into the sea.

And she is there in the mist
in the sea breeze she
is in the gathering dark
she rides the mounting forces
which rise beneath the blackening waves
and she is in the quilted sky

she is there in the billowing
sheeted veils of the afternoon
and in the rakish cry of the gulls
screaming over the graves of shearwater
skeletons, she is at the exits of hollowed burrows
among bits of dead bird, dead rabbit, scattered
beside the remains of Iron Age homesteads
and she is marking the way
in Celtic stone against the unforgiving grey.

(Skomer: a once inhabited island off the South Wales coast)
Sycamore Grove Poetry Prize 1999, Highly Commended

© Steve Walter